Daniel Weintraub Essay
According to his article, “The Battle Against Fast Food Begins In The Home”, the author, columnist and blogger Daniel Weintraub, argues parents, not fast-food companies or the government are responsible for their child’s health and well being. Weintraub supports this claim by providing data from the Center For Public Health Advocacy on the subject of overweight schoolchildren, State law recommendations outlining nutritional standards, and his own experience with the problem.Weintraub intends to convince or persuade the parents or parent to accept the blame for their overweight child. From my standpoint, however, it is clear the parents or parent should not be the only ones to blame for the increasing weight problems children were dealing with, and are still currently dealing with today. Granted.
The parents are responsible for their child’s healthy eating habits and manners, but even Weintraub acknowledges ulterior causes to a child’s weight problems while still reinforcing his claims.According to the Center For Public Health Advocacy, in Wientraubs article, they blamed the problem on the “increasing consumption of fast food and soft drinks, larger portion sizes in restaurants, the availability of junk food on campus,” and “advertising of junk food to children and families. ” These are factors adults with kids to provide for should not be held accountable for. They cannot control how pervasive advertisements for fast-food are, or how available the food is, not to mention how healthy the food is.These are some examples of Fast-food industries holding power over what you eat by providing cheap and available food for their target group, in this case young children or families with children.
These groups are specifically targeted by industries to buy their products by appealing to their interest. Children being the most susceptible should have limited television time to avoid the otherwise boorish advertisements that, to a child, could influence their choices in foods by adding in toys or games for children. I understand a working parent has barely enough time to watch over every little detail in the kids life, but n effort should be made not only by the parent, but also by the fast-foods to take at least some of the responsibility for making schoolchildren, and not to mention Americans in general, overweight. Advertisement towards children should be to promote healthy eating, which it currently is, however not so much back in 2003 where, according to David Barboza’s article “If You Pitch It, They Will Eat”, “Product tie-ins are everywhere.
” This holds true to this day, McDonalds has toys with their happy meals from two popular kids shows. Power Rangers and My Little Pony, which appeal to young boys and girls who know of or watch the show.It is a marketing strategy, the kids see the toys and watch the show, which in turn makes them want the toys, making them want to watch the shows. Continuing in an endless loop that only benefits the shows and most of all the fast-food companies like McDonalds.
Not only is it excessively advertised, but fast-food is also the most available kind of food around. Weintraub may be able to avoid providing his kids with fast-food, but most don’t have the luxury to provide home cooked meals everyday, so the easy alternative is ready made fast-foods.It’s not that they aren’t good parents, but rather very busy ones, most likely with work to provide enough to eat. The parent could try to find healthier options, which seem a little harder to find than a fast-food joint. Even David Zinczenko suggests that if you were to drive down a through any “thoroughfare in America” you would see the at least one McDonald’s out of the “country’s more than 13,000 McDonald’s Restaurants. ” Maybe more now, considering the company has become a prominent part of any city or rural location in America.
He has a follow-up point as well;that if you were to “drive up the block,” it would be much harder to find a place that sells healthier meals. “Complicating the lack of alternatives is the lack of information about what, exactly, we’re consuming. ” The Author for the article, “Don’t Blame The Eater,” David Zinczencko’s claims were accurate during the time the article was written, but from what I can tell, the current system provides a consumer enough information, on a menu item’s nutritional values, to make an informed decision on what it is they consume.No longer would parents be able to legitimately blame fast-food companies for not providing nutritional information properly. In 2003, however, it was a well enough reason to put blame on the industry which obviously did not openly provide nutritional charts or caloric information. The kids just got what they wanted and the busy parents should’ve known better, regardless it should be easier for a working parent to provide a healthier choice in meals now that it is required to provide this information essential to a consumers health.
A child and parents alike, may make better choices now that the fast-food shops provide nutritional charts.Overall the parent should take better care of their child’s healthy eating and exercise habits, but the Adults shouldn’t be the only ones to take the blame if the child is overweight. Fast- food companies should shoulder the responsibility as well, with consideration that they intentionally target youths in their advertisements, lack, or better yet lacked proper nutritional guidelines, and were/are too prominent around the country.
Weintraub can blame the parents for overweight kids, but that doesn’t mean fast-food will stop trying to convince your child to eat it’s obviously unhealthy foods.